Day 82 - Sydney Bridge Climb
Trip Start Sep 02, 2007
92Trip End Dec 25, 2007
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We got in there a little late and rushed in to make our time slot, only to find out that they had us signed up for the previous day. They would still put us on a tour, but we would have to take the next available tour and it was at 1:15. We didn't learn until that moment that the tours, including briefing and safety training and everything, took four hours. Our ETL (the last call to be back on the ship) was 5. That must have been why they booked us every day at 12:50 - to keep the time consistent for the last day and have us (theoretically) make the ETL. We were afraid we wouldn't get a refund, especially since we couldn't remember what date we'd written on our forms. We'd known we wanted the last day because we were both on the AFP, but quite honestly we'd been in a hurry when we signed up and had sort of guessed at the date. We managed to convince ourselves that we'd put the right date; whether we got a refund was contingent on whose mistake it was since the Bridge Climb people wouldn't be giving one. We called the emergency duty phone number for the ship and talked to Leo, the executive director, who happened to be on duty, about our options and asked him what we should do. He had no idea and all he would say about the ETL was that we should make it
We finally decided not to gamble on ETL, because we didn't know how long we'd really take once we got finished, changed, and out of the office, plus we had to walk back and didn't know exactly where it was, and with luck we probably still wouldn't have been back until after 6. We decided to go back to the ship, drop off our stuff, and have a leisurely afternoon in the city instead. We decided it would be better not to be rushed, if not worth the hundred and fifty bucks, and we both still had postcards to mail and loose ends to tie up in Sydney before we left anyway
We had a nice afternoon, got back on the ship, had dinner, and had a nice relaxing evening on the bow watching Sydney disappear into the distance. Apparently this is when everyone gets out to look at the city from the water - in the evening on the exit trip. I don't know why, but I just find it so much more exciting to be one of the first to see it, instead of one of the last. And quite honestly it's nice without all the people there. I also realized, though, that I'd been missing out on a pretty major social experience on board the Oceanic II; since I'd seen each city coming in and spent the whole week in it and didn't see the need to feel sad watching it disappear, I'd been having lazy dinners and then cracking down on the homework I'd been avoiding each time we left port while everybody else on the whole ship was on deck hanging out. Oh, well. Shanghai for sure, right?